A major project to improve a 140-year-old Spalding church costing at least £500,000 is to be officially launched.
Plans are being finalised to transform St John’s Church, Hawthorn Bank, into a community asset fit for the 21st century and residents are being given the chance to play their part.
Church leaders will unveil plans for the facelift during services on Sunday where people will be invited to contribute towards new furniture.
The project involves the replacement of existing pews with new wooden chairs, the fitting of a new hardwood floor, new meeting rooms, heating system, memorial garden and improved access between the church and neighbouring St John’s Primary School.
It is hoped the modernisation project will start in the summer and take about 20 weeks to complete.
A church statement said: “St John’s has welcomed worshippers in Spalding since 1875. But times have changed and we now want to reach out to the many newcomers in our large parish by making the church comfortable and suitable for many types of occasions.
“Our plans include new meeting rooms, floor, lighting, heating and sound systems, but we intend to keep the choir and sanctuary much as it is.”
St John’s is used by a variety of groups, including three primary schools, a mums and toddlers group, Brownies, Guides and the South Holland Local History Group.
The statement said: “The new seats should be more comfortable and enable us to change the seating arrangements for all our main services, as well as for many school and community events that take place in the main church.
The project has been made possible through a “ very generous legacy” from former church member Peter Langford who died in 2010, although the precise amount hasn’t yet been made public.
Rev Peter Garland, vicar of St John’s, said: “Peter was a very quiet man and yet decided that he really wanted to help the church maintain its building and improve it.
“If it hadn’t been for Peter, the project would still be plans on a drawing board whereas the hope now is that we’ll be able to open the church up to the community which is what we want to do.
“Thanks to Peter’s very generous legacy, we can now build for the future.”